A Viking Vent: Part Two

March 11, 2011

At least it’s working. Finally. For now. Pardon me if I don’t trust that it’ll last. Wonder why?  Here’s the back story.

For as long as I’ve had this range, not quite six years now, it’s had electrical issues relating to the self-clean cycle. It was repaired under warranty but I use the term repair loosely. A fix that only lasts a little while isn’t really a repair. But you can live and cook without a clean oven so I put off calling for service. Eventually I couldn’t stand it anymore. I called a Viking-authorized service center and went round and round with an apparently incompetent technician and poor customer service in a saga that involved paying for parts and more parts and several service calls as one problem seemed to be fixed but it caused another. At least I could finally bake when all of that was done but again, I couldn’t clean.

Once again, dreading the expensive repairs, I postponed service and lived with filthy ovens until it become unbearable. Given the track record of the last repair company, I called someone new, also a Viking-authorized service center. Back in April I got what turned out to be another temporary fix. By July or August, Viking got involved but the extent of their involvement was having the service tech talk to their tech department. Nothing new there, all the previous techs had talked with Viking. By December, after several more service calls, waiting and waiting for yet more of the same parts and Thanksgiving turkey dinner for 10 done mostly on the grill, I was hopeful that the problem was finally solved. Ha!

I still hadn’t gotten around to actually running the self-clean cycles. I prefer to do that on a day when I can open up the windows and air out the house so the first beautiful day arrived and I set out cleaning. Except it didn’t work. Didn’t heat. Nada. And now, when I tried to bake, the oven locked as if it were trying to clean. Sigh. A dirty oven that won’t bake. Isn’t that special?

A friend in the kitchen business got an experienced Viking-authorized service center to make the trek to my house and Viking FINALLY agreed to pay for this repair. Since Viking was covering the costs, the tech suggested just replacing every part involved in the self-clean cycle, apparently a pricey proposition. Parts were ordered and finally came in. The repair was completed, without help from Viking because while he was here the service guy spent all of his time on hold.

But so far so good. I’ve cleaned and I’m still baking.

The problem? I spent over $1000 on worthless “repairs” for an issue that is as old as the range. I really don’t consider them repairs because they didn’t solve the problem. Viking has “respectfully decline(d) the request for reimbursement” because “Unfortunately, at the time of the previous service calls, the range was outside of warranty.” I pointed out that the problems began while the range was under warranty, that I’d called upon service techs who were Viking-authorized, service techs who contacted and were directed by Viking’s service department and STILL no one had been able to diagnose or fix the problem.  What else should a person be required to do?

I’m still waiting on a reply to that one. I’m not holding my breath. My advice? NEVER buy Viking. There are other top-of-the-line appliance brands out there that actually stand behind their products and provide excellent customer service.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 dragonet2 March 11, 2011 at 9:33 pm

We had a JennAir that was a floor model, at the end of its model life 10 years ago when we bought it and it was always a little hinkty about temperatures, etc. When the oven quit (with the smell of gas in the kitchen to boot), we called a service person. It was the ignition ‘module’ and ‘we haven’t made that range for at least 12 years and there are no parts to be had.”

Got a Frigidaire at the National Furniture Chain that has taken over everyone except Best Buy. it’s a beast, it holds temperatures correctly and other things I forgot a gas range was supposed to do. And as a bonus it has variable range heads, and a center flame set that will accommodate a stovetop griddle or grill pan. I lurves it.

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